Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA) Chairman Rhee Jae-hwan said in a recent interview with The Korea Times that the nation is working on the development of small-sized commercial nuclear power generation systems.
“Local researchers have finished much work on small-sized SMART nuclear reactors and have applied for global approval, which will be reviewed next year.
South Korea's SMART (System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor) is a 330 MWt pressurised water reactor with integral steam generators and advanced safety features. It is designed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) for generating electricity (up to 100 MWe) and/or thermal applications such as seawater desalination. Design life is 60 years, with a three-year refuelling cycle. While the basic design is complete, the absence of any orders for an initial reference unit has stalled development. KAERI is now intending to proceed to licensing the design by 2012
Several countries have already expressed keen interest in SMART plants. For instance, Kazakhstan has agreed with the South Korean government to undertake a joint safety study on the SMART as part of its programme to introduce nuclear power generation.